Tuesday, October 19, 2004

34th District race: Hot, cool as Brinkman, Miller contrast



By Steve Kemme
Enquirer staff writer

The two candidates for the Ohio 34th House District seat present a jarring contrast in campaign styles.

ELECTION 2004
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(AP Photo/Ed Reinke)
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Kentucky candidates guide
Election 2004 section

Democratic challenger Glen Miller has made an aggressive attack against Republican incumbent Tom Brinkman Jr. the centerpiece of his campaign.

He accuses Brinkman, who is finishing his second term in office, of being negative and obstructive.

"I think the biggest issue of this race is Tom Brinkman - how he votes and how he's against everything," said Miller, a former teacher who is coordinator at the Brighton Center for Employment Training in Newport.

Brinkman declines to respond to Miller's criticism and said he prefers not even to hear about it.

"I'm taking the positive road," he said. "I just tell people where I am on the issues."

The 34th House District is one of the wealthiest in the state. It includes such eastern Hamilton County communities as Anderson Township, Mount Lookout and Hyde Park.

Brinkman, who lives in Mount Lookout, was the main sponsor of the state law that restricts the use of an abortion pill.

"It's saving 600 to 700 babies a year," he said. "It took a few years, but we got it done. It's also a women's health issue. There have been some women who have taken the pill and died."

Brinkman has been a leading opponent of Ohio's auto emissions monitoring program, E-Check. A private company under contract with Ohio administers the program. The air quality has been bad enough in 14 Ohio counties - including Hamilton County - that the federal government has required them to have auto emissions monitoring programs.

"The program's a joke," Brinkman said. "There is no sign it fixes anything."

He worked with a coalition that succeeded in preventing a renewal of the program's contract when it expires at the end of 2005.

Brinkman said he hopes a more reasonable, effective auto emissions program will take E-Check's place.

"One alternative would be to allow cars 5 years old and newer to skip E-Check because those cars aren't failing the test anyway," he said.

Miller, of Anderson Township, said devising a better way to fund schools in Ohio is the key to stopping the loss of jobs.

He said he would work to improve health care and make prescription drugs more affordable.

Miller criticized Brinkman's anti-tax pledge as unreasonable and an example of how he caters to certain special interest groups.

Brinkman said Ohio must reduce taxes.

"Ohio's an out-of-control fiscal mess," he said. "We have to cut taxes because people are leaving our state."

E-mail skemme@enquirer.com




ELECTION 2004
Clashes get tense in debate
New-voter signups soaring
Democrats winning race to sign up new voters
Increase in ripped-off signs gauges raw election emotion
Southgate headed to special vote on school tax
Gas tax stirs Senate campaign
34th District race: Hot, cool as Brinkman, Miller contrast
Early voting opens in Florida, and a few problems are reported
Blackwell proposes allowing ballots to be cast at wrong place
Bush, Kerry step up rhetoric on Iraq war
And down the stretch they come...
Election 2004 section

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